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New IU Indianapolis, Lilly partnership to boost talent pipelines, workforce development

Co-op partnership will bolster the central Indiana workforce and meet regional talent needs in competitive fields

For Immediate Release Feb 1, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University Indianapolis and Eli Lilly and Company are launching a new co-op partnership to enhance talent pipelines and expand workforce development opportunities for people in central Indiana.

Currently, nearly 90% of IU's Indianapolis graduates build careers in Indiana. This new partnership aims to enhance career oppo... Currently, nearly 90% of IU's Indianapolis graduates build careers in Indiana. This new partnership aims to enhance career opportunities for students and will serve as a bridge between academic learning and real-world industry experience. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University.

The collaboration will connect undergraduate students from several IU Indianapolis schools and degree programs with opportunities at Lilly. This hands-on training will position students to enter and grow their careers in the state of Indiana while meeting the talent needs at one of the state’s largest employers.

“As IU Indianapolis sets itself apart as the nation’s premier urban research university, we’re committed to building a talent pipeline that powers the regional economy,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “This robust partnership represents the latest piece of that commitment as we work together to drive Indianapolis forward. With Lilly and other key partners, we’re creating opportunity for students while meeting the needs of some of our city’s and region’s largest and most impactful employers.”

Currently, nearly 90% of IU’s Indianapolis graduates build careers in Indiana. This new partnership aims to enhance career opportunities for students and will serve as a bridge between academic learning and real-world industry experience. Students participating in the program will complement their academic coursework by working a semester or more at Lilly for credit. In some cases, Lilly — or other participating industry partners — may also invite students for summer internships before the co-op semester.

This partnership expands on a new industry-leading co-op program recently announced through the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis; it initially will be available to students in the Kelley School; the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering; and the School of Health & Human Sciences in Indianapolis beginning in fall 2024. This initial partnership will serve as a model for the development of similar partnerships with other leading organizations across central Indiana.

Additionally, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and 16 Tech Innovation District will join IU Indianapolis and Lilly to enhance the experience of students selected for the co-op through member events, team building, experiential learning, volunteer opportunities and more. This enhanced programming with the support of CICP and 16 Tech will build more place-based learning and networking opportunities that connect students to life in Indianapolis and increase their likelihood of staying in Indiana for the long term, a shared priority for IU Indianapolis, CICP and CICP members.

Opportunities initially will be available within multiple Lilly departments such as finance, human resources and information technology, with the goal of producing career-ready professionals who are prepared to contribute to the region’s economy.

“People are at the center of how we innovate to deliver high-quality medicines,” said Julie Dunlap, Lilly’s chief diversity officer and senior vice president of talent. “Lilly’s participation in this partnership is an investment in student education and development and reflects our commitment to advancing and retaining Indiana talent.”

This partnership builds on an array of IU initiatives aimed at bolstering the economic and cultural vitality of Indianapolis and the state. The university recently announced an investment of more than $250 million to strengthen the university’s and state’s leadership in biosciences, in addition to an investment of $111 million to shape research in microelectronics and contribute to the nation’s burgeoning semiconductor sector.

Enrollment for applicants in the first round of the new co-op partnership will begin later this year.

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